Remember Max from 'Living Single'? She Was Married for Nearly 2 Decades & the Couple Had No Kids
Erika Alexander's married life spoke of her passion as well as her drive to make a difference in Hollywood. She married a man who, just like her, thrives in creating meaningful content. The couple didn't have any children but produced something they could be proud of.
Erika Alexander as Maxine Shaw in “Living Single” entertained viewers with her witty character who struggled with her relationships until she finally settled down at the show’s end with her on-and-off boyfriend, Kyle Barker.
But Erika’s off-screen life is far from the strong-willed attorney she played on screen. In real life, she explored her creativity by venturing into the production side of Hollywood and married a screenwriter who served as her husband for two decades.
FAR FROM AN ODD COUPLE
Erika and Tony Puryear would first strike you as an odd couple considering the latter is White. But not many are aware that Tony is, in fact, half-Black and identifies himself more as a Black man than White. He grew up in a Black neighborhood with no less than Malcolm X in the same hood, and thrived in a family who participated in the Civil Rights Movement.
REVOLUTIONIZING THE COMIC INDUSTRY TOGETHER
It’s their fondness for their cultural heritage that actually bonded Erica and Tony through their career. Their comic book series, “Concrete Park” is the first of its kind to have an all-Black lineup of characters. Thus, way before “The Black Panther” revolutionized the superhero strata for the Black community, Erika and Tony were already paving its way.
"We were actually shocked by his blatant racism. It wasn’t just that he said that Black people wouldn’t like it. His assumption was that you’re only making it for Black people, so that’s the problem."
At the time, they were met with a lot of opposition. When they pitched the comic to be turned into a series, a studio turned them down because according to Erika, it claimed “Black people don’t like science fiction” and “they don’t see themselves in the future.” Erika was astounded by the remark. She recalled,
“We were very surprised. We were actually shocked by his blatant racism. It wasn’t just that he said that Black people wouldn’t like it. His assumption was that you’re only making it for Black people, so that’s the problem. You have people, they give themselves the tag of White Hollywood liberals, and they can often be some of the most racist people you’ve ever met.”
FURTHERING HER CAUSE
Regardless, Erika used the rejection as motivation to provide more avenues that would allow the Black community as well as other ethnic communities to thrive in Hollywood. Last year, she launched Color Farm Media, a production company that would produce racially diverse content for TV, film, and digital media.
Meanwhile, Erika and Tony’s marriage continued to prosper even without the presence of a child. The reason for their lack of offspring since their marriage in 1997 is unknown but we’re guessing it’s their work that became their priority.
As of late, it is believed the couple parted ways but remain amicable. We know this because Erika alluded to Tony as her ex-husband during an interview with Jezebel about “The Black Panther’s” success.
The split didn’t mean the couple cut ties completely. In fact, Tony’s birthday tribute to Erika late last year speaks of how well he knows and adores her and would always love her. He wrote,
“Happy Birthday to The Master of Disaster, The Doyenne of the Democrats, The Mover and Shaker, The Concrete Park Creator, The Philadelphia Originator and The President of your High School Class, Erika Alexander!! Love, T.”
Two decades of marriage didn’t exactly go down the drain. They just moved towards different directions but would always be bonded by their common passions.
It's been a quarter of a century since Erika graced the screens as Maxine in "Living Single" and a lot has happened since then. Erika recently reunited with her on-screen partner, TC Carson who played Kyle in the show. "Toasting 25 years with a good friend," the actress wrote to accompany an adorable photo of their sweet reunion. Rumors are swirling that a reboot of their 90s sitcom is in the works as Queen Latifah hinted during an interview with Andy Cohen. Things would certainly come full circle for the cast in the eventuality that the show makes a comeback.